Melting glaciers

Published: August 2, 2019
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Pakistan is among countries most vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change. It is therefore taking appropriate measures to combat the monster of global warming, which is one of the consequences of changing weather patterns in the world. In recent years, we have seen several lake outburst-floods in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral as a result of melting glaciers. So it is in the fitness of things that the National Disaster Management Authority and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of K-P have decided to soon carry out physical inspection of at least 17 potentially-dangerous glaciers in Chitral district.

For the past several years, we have been witnessing fast melting of glaciers caused by increasing temperatures, increasing frequency of both floods and droughts, excessive rainfall alternating with scanty rain and other such freak weather phenomena. Global warming is a double-edged sword: it causes melting of glaciers and as ice sheets melt in the Arctic region and other places it also results in increasing temperatures. Glaciers reflect sun rays which keep temperatures at tolerable levels; but after melting, the dark surface of glaciers absorbed heat, so it results in further raising temperatures. As a result of excessive burning of fossil fuels global temperatures have been rising and heatwave-like conditions are now occurring even in Finland and Canada. Melting glaciers are also resulting in raising the sea level. Bangladesh, India, and American states like New Orleans are already showing up the effects of rising sea level. It is feared that if the sea level keeps rising at the current rate Bangladesh and the Maldives might soon become part of the ocean.

The threat of climate change needs to be jointly tackled by all countries of the world. Yet US President Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax; it is an invention of China. We all should remember: If we violate nature, we should be prepared for the consequences.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2019.

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